Sailing the Seas of Cheese

Sailing the Seas of Cheese

The title only hints at the perverse delight San Francisco's Primus took at slamming various pop genres up against one another, often taking as much inspiration and delight in what didn't stick as what did. Punk in its uncompromisingly angular spirit, yet undeniably progressive in its accomplished musicianship (especially that of bassist/band mainstay Les Claypool), this 1991 album primed the band to mushroom into one of the decade's most respected rock acts. If there's an over-riding spirit that informs the often strange musical and thematic obsessions on this major label debut, it's the paradoxically juvenile yet endlessly sophisticated mischief of Frank Zappa. That sensibility wafts through everything from the nautical obsessions of "Seas of Cheese" and "Fish On" to the riff-happy "Here Come the Bastards" and narrative adventures of "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" and "Tommy the Cat."

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